When it’s time to show your rental property to prospective tenants, you’ve already had the unit cleaned, repaired and replaced any appliances or hardware that needed attention. The property is in great shape and will show well. Doing so will command the highest rent possible and attract more tenants.

So once the lease applications start to flow in, how do you screen them?social media background checks

Your lease application will also have an authorization form allowing you to pull a credit report, contact their employers and references. You will also review copies of recent pay check stubs to make sure they have enough income to comfortably pay the rent on time each month. And of course a check with their current landlord is also a must. But beyond the standard fare, you can also find out a lot more about potential tenants by just using the internet. How so?

By using Google, you can find out quite a bit of information, especially if it’s negative. Go ahead and log onto Google and type in your name and where you live. You might be surprised at how many places you actually show up. The younger crowd is also more attuned to social media, even if you’re not so much. Instagram, Facebook and other social sites can show up in a Google search. You can find a lot about a person’s lifestyle simply by looking at posts made by others.

Every state and municipality keeps arrest records online as well. By logging onto the appropriate public site, you can type in a person’s name to see if there are any arrests or criminal records. You can also do a public sex offender search for free as well. There are various applications that scour the internet for profiles and post them in a database for you to review. Some of these sites can search through dozens of sites for public information.

If you’re not using the internet to research potential tenants you should start thinking about it. Employers do it and even banks can search the web for free information if they choose to. There’s a ton of information out there for free. Take advantage of it.